Ride to Hatton Ferry - Don't "Miss the Boat"

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Elkhound, May 23, 2009.

  1. Elkhound

    Elkhound Hunting Dog

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    The Hatton Ferry has been providing transportation over
    the James River operating beginning in 1870.
    It is located about 25 miles south of Charlottesville Virginia.

    But it will likely be closing at the end of June - due to a
    State of Virginia / VDOT budget cut.

    There's still time to ride the ferry - its
    only open on the weekends -
    I took off from Northern Virginia this morning and made the trip.

    Approaching the Ferry from the south side
    just when it was coming across from the north side.
    A group of floaters was getting ready to get in the water.
    They complained the water was cold - even
    though the air temp was about 85F.

    [​IMG]

    On board was a 1951 Ford

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    Riding up on the ferry. A couple was taking a round trip on the ferry
    just to enjoy the ride. They kindly offered to take some pictures.

    [​IMG]

    Resident expert ferry operator - the ferry goes back and forth
    just using using water current power - and a little pole action
    when needed

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    On the ferry

    [​IMG]

    Not sure what it is about ferries, but I really enjoy riding them.
    Been across White's Ferry near Leesburg a number of times.
    Hope to ride the Merry Point ferry soon.


    Suggest you consider doing what you can to help ensure the historic
    Hatton Ferry continues to operate.


    A couple of pictures from the ride from Northern Virginia to the Hatton ferry:

    An old store in Ferncliff.

    [​IMG]



    One of several excursions along the way

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    Wasn't sure what this dam was for - maybe a mill at one time?
    In fact it was at or near a place called Payne's Mill.

    [​IMG]

    And the James River from US15

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. FOXedupONE

    FOXedupONE Long timer

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    Sweet, never heard of that ferry. I'll have to go check it out.

    Looks like you had a nice ride.:thumb
    #2
  3. mica

    mica Weekend Adventurer

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    Nice write up.

    Nice meeting you today too, glad you stopped in.
    #3
  4. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    I had no idea VA. Had a ferry ... We use to ride all around C.Ville alot ...
    Hmm never bumped in to it...
    Thanks for sharing... Cool...
    We will have to check it out before it shuts down....

    My bikes love ferry rides... :ricky
    #4
  5. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    I've been down to Hatton Ferry several times, but never in the on season. I know the hours of operation are somewhat limited.

    I do remember thinking to myself while looking at the ferry moored there, that I'd never trust that thing to my car, and probably not even my bike.

    How did you feel about it's stability?
    #5
  6. Elkhound

    Elkhound Hunting Dog

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    The ferry seemed very stable - but there was only 4 people and 1 motorcycle
    on board. The operator said they could take 2 cars - except when
    historic model T's were on board (ferrying?) - he could take 3 of them. :thumbup

    Now if it was the 1910 version of the ferry shown in the first picture of this
    link --- I'm not so sure... :eek1

    http://scottsvillemuseum.com/transportation/homeB69cdB16.html
    #6
  7. donnymoto

    donnymoto Long timer

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    How cool. Looks like a swiftly flowing James river, glad to hear it was stable. Yes, too bad it might be gone soon, will have to try and ride before it goes. Nice report!
    #7
  8. Elkhound

    Elkhound Hunting Dog

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  9. troutwhisperer

    troutwhisperer Adventurer

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    Man, thats a shame. I need to take a ride down there on the bike before the end of June. I work as a bridge safety inspector for a private firm and VDOT hired us to inspect the ferry. For those not familar with the ferry, it cross the James without the aid of any type of motor. The operator adjust a cable to angle the ferry against the flow of the river which in turn pushes it to the opposite bank with occasonial help with a fiberglass pole. Here are a few pictures during the inspection.



    [​IMG]

    Me hanging from the cables



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    Me inspecting the cables



    [​IMG]


    Looking down from the cables to the ferry
    #9
  10. pfestus1

    pfestus1 Slasher

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    Since news of the Hatton Ferry closing broke, I've been wanting to visit it. I'm suprized I never heard of it before now??
    On Sunday June 7, a group of us plan to ride over to Hatton and cruise across the James. We'll be leaving the Greenwood Restaurant, just N. of Troutville, VA on US 11, after breakfast that day. We'll meet for breakfasat at 9:30.
    #10
  11. Gimmeslack

    Gimmeslack furthur

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    Duuude.... I want your job! You guys hiring/training?? :eek1
    #11
  12. strommin

    strommin bending light

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    Saw this thread after reading a similar one on the Twin Valley Riders forum. A few of us had planned a ride out to Fredericksburg so we decided to take the Hatton Ferry on the way home.

    We boarded from the eastern shore. Thanks for starting the thread Elkhound. Interesting way to get across the James.

    Great pix there Gimmeslack!

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]



    strommin
    #12
  13. Elkhound

    Elkhound Hunting Dog

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    Strommin - What a nice day to be riding the river!
    Noticed that you crossed from the same side as I did
    The ferry operator, Ashley Pillar, told me that most
    start at the opposite (north) side.

    Ashley also told me the annual budget was around $20K to
    operate the ferry. So I'm not sure how this is going
    to do much to stop up a $ mult-billion dollar vdot shortfall.


    http://www.whsv.com/home/headlines/45526457.html

    Now if they could somehow close 50,000 poled ferries
    that would save $1 billion.
    Oh, thats right - this is probably the only
    one running in the usa ..................
    #13
  14. Rocking-M

    Rocking-M DuckCowboy

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    I'll be heading down myself now that I've heard of it. Thanks for the post.
    May have to take the Fiat so the wife can ride along. She doesn't do bikes anymore.
    #14
  15. strommin

    strommin bending light

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    Might that be the Fiat that was parked close to a Mini at Tuggles last Sunday? :thumb
    #15
  16. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Some of the best roads in the east..
    So how much time do we have to check out the ferry...
    Our dial-up is soo slow the links take way to long to load...
    #16
  17. Elkhound

    Elkhound Hunting Dog

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    The plan calls for it to run only thru June.
    #17
  18. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    OK thanks ... Dang I don't think we can squeeze it in on the weekends ..
    They are very full this month..... I wish they where open during the week...
    #18
  19. Rocking-M

    Rocking-M DuckCowboy

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    yep, that would be the one :D

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Some of the best roads in the east..
    We are making a run for the Ferry :clap :ricky ......
    Will head out Sat. morning early....

    Might even take in Lee Chapel..:dunno

    I sure hope it's still in operation .... :nod

    I know ya'll said it will run out this month....:deal

    It looks like the weekend is going to be great weather !!!:ricky :beer
    #20